As the holiday season approaches, cars and other vehicles will start to crowd New Jersey shopping center parking lots and garages. From the shopping meccas in Paramus, NJ to smaller plazas lining Route 9 in Freehold, consumers will be on the hunt for food, gifts and other purchases. As drivers navigate their way through the parking lots, they may not realize the risk of a car accident. In fact, car accidents in parking lots are far more common than you may realize. In this blog post, we’ll review common causes, liability and potential compensation after a car accident in a New Jersey shopping center parking lot.
Causes of Parking Lot Car Accidents
According to a study done by the National Safety Council, distracted driving accounts for a majority of parking lot accidents. Negligent drivers may not be paying attention closely enough to what’s going on around them. Or, impatience and carelessness create situations in which a driver causes an injury accident. Examples of distracted driving in shopping center parking lots that lead to an accident include:
- Failure to look behind and around when backing up out of a parking space
- Drivers using phones or operating the vehicle’s entertainment or GPS system
- Speeding through parking lots, crossing over rows
- Failure to yield the right of way when merging or entering a road
Inattentive, negligent drivers particularly put young children and the elderly at risk for an injury accident in a shopping center parking lot.
Liability for a Vehicle Accident in a Shopping Center
Liability for a car accident in a New Jersey shopping center works just as it does for a vehicle crash on a city or state road. Negligent drivers who fail to follow traffic laws or are distracted can be held liable for injuries caused in an accident.
In some instances, the parking lot owner may bear some responsibility for the accident. Business owners and property managers have a duty of care to keep their premises free from hazards and dangerous conditions. When they fail in this duty, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim against the owner to recover compensation for your losses.
Compensation for a Shopping Center Parking Lot Accident
In no-fault insurance states like New Jersey, the first or primary insurer after an injury accident will be your own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. If your injuries are extensive and will exhaust your benefits, you may then be able to file an injury claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If the business owner is fully liable or partly responsible for the accident, you may also be able to file an injury claim against them.
Compensation in an injury claim is designed to make you financially whole again and can include the following:
- Hospital and doctor bills
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Other medical expenses related to the injury
- Lost income from missed time at work due to the injury
- Intangible losses, like pain and suffering
Just because you are entitled to compensation for your losses doesn’t mean that it’s an easy process to recover damages. Insurance companies may pressure you to accept a lowball settlement. Or, liability may be in question. An experienced New Jersey car accident lawyer will build your case and seek to maximize your compensation award.
What to Do After a Car Accident in a Shopping Center Parking Lot
Treat a car accident in a parking lot just as you would one that occurs on a public roadway. Call the police to ensure a police report is filed, seek immediate medical attention and contact a car accident lawyer to discuss your case.
If you’ve been injured in a shopping center parking lot accident in New Jersey, contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law and speak with a skilled car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our firm has an in-depth knowledge of personal injury laws, we have extensive experience in successfully representing a wide range of car accident and premises liability cases. We pride ourselves in being able to provide clients with the passionate representation they deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.